When you file for bankruptcy, one of the forms you must fill out is Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims. Read on to learn more about how to complete Schedule E/F.
Schedule E/F is the bankruptcy form where you list your unsecured debts. Unsecured debts are not secured by property, meaning that your creditor can't take your property if you fail to pay your agreement. Priority unsecured debts are obligations that receive special treatment in bankruptcy. They typically get paid before other debts and are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. Common priority debts include alimony, child support, and certain taxes. Nonpriority unsecured debts, such as credit card bills, medical debt, and personal loans, are paid after other categories of debts, and most--but not all--are dischargeable.
To learn more, see Priority vs Nonpriority Debts in Bankruptcy.
Before you complete Schedule E/F, read the instructions on the form carefully. The following are additional tips on how to fill out Schedule E/F.
You'll list your priority claims first. If you don't have any priority claims--such as domestic support obligations, taxes, or a claim of injury that occurred as a result of you driving while intoxicated--check "No" and move on to the second part of the form. If you have priority claims, you'll list the creditor's name and address, the last four digits of the account number, and the date the debt was incurred.
Codebtors. Check the box that best describes who is responsible for the debt. This might be you, your filing spouse, both you and your filing spouse, or either of you and another person. Keep in mind that you will need to disclose the codebtor’s information on Schedule H: Your Codebtors.
Subject to an offset. If the creditor owes you money and you believe you should get a credit (the amount the creditor owes you should be subtracted from the amount you owe the creditor), you'll check the "Yes" you're owed an offset box. Otherwise, you'll check "No."
Contingent, unliquidated, or disputed. If the claim is contingent (your liability depends on an event that has not yet occurred), unliquidated (the exact debt amount is not yet determined), or disputed (you don’t agree with the debt or its amount), check the appropriate box. Be aware that you may need to mark multiple boxes.
Types of priority claims. Check the box that corresponds to the type of priority debt you have.
Total claim. Disclose the amount of the total claim.
Priority amount. List the portion of the claim entitled to priority (not all claims are entitled to be fully paid).
Nonpriority amount. If there is a portion of the total claim that is not entitled to priority, list it here.
On the second half of the form, you'll list all of your nonpriority unsecured claims, such as credit card bills, personal loans, and medical bills. This means all debt not already listed on either Schedule D: Creditors Who Have Claims Secured by Property, or in the priority claim section of Schedule E/F. Complete this section by following the self-explanatory, easy-to-understand instructions.
You can find a downloadable, fillable version of Schedule E/F: Creditors Who Have Unsecured Claims on the U.S. Court’s website.
This article provides general information only. When filing for bankruptcy, you must understand the federal and state laws governing the entire bankruptcy process. Failing to adequately research and understand how these laws might affect your case could result in unexpected consequences. If you aren’t familiar with the process, it's best to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney, or, use a do-it-yourself book like Nolo's How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.